Heartbroken friends of teenager Holly Brown, who died in a minibus crash, have honoured the ballet dancer by leaving heartfelt tributes outside Shobnall Community Centre where the youngster danced four times a week.
Her dance teacher spoke about the 14-year-old’s talent and recalled the last time she saw her perform, which was the Thursday evening, July 6, the night before the horrific crash.
Holly was on a school art trip when the minibus she was travelling in with fellow pupils and teachers was involved in a collision with a council big lorry in Birmingham shortly after 9am on Friday, July 14.
Stephanie Parrott, Holly’s principal at Stephanie Parrott’s school of Dance in Burton, said: “On Thursday night when she was dancing, I never anticipated that it would be the last time I would see her dance.”
“I wish I could see her do that again and just hold on to that moment.”
The minibus was carrying 21 children from John Taylor High School in Barton under Needwood, where Holly was a pupil, along with three teachers when the accident took place.
Holly was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash. Another pupil was taken to hospital with minor injuries and 20 were treated at the scene.
Ballet-themed tributes and flowers were placed outside Shobnall Community Centre, where the dance school is based, on Monday evening following a gathering of parents and pupils at Stephanie Parrott’s School of Dance in memory of Holly.
Holly’s grandparents joined the gathering and asked if the ballerinas could dance for them, which Mrs Parrott described as an emotional experience that she will never forget.
Ballerina’s who knew Holly decorated their own pointed-toe shoes and donated them to create a touching tribute to their friend.
Mrs Parrott, who taught Holly at the dance school for 10 years, contributed her own first ever ballet shoes to the memorial and placed tutu in Holly’s favourite colours – blue and white.
“All the girls at the school are devastated,” she said. “Everyone that knew Holly are beside themselves.
“She had a giggle that was so infectious. We are all heartbroken. Every pupil in the school is devastated and in disbelief – everything Holly did was ballet.”
Holly was due to perform at the school’s production of “A moment in time” on Tuesday night, a graduation evening to say goodbye to pupils at the school who were leaving for university.
Mrs Parrott now says the school is fund-raising for Holly’s family after she was inspired by the kindness of a local man.
The man handed £20 to Stephanie to donate towards Holly’s family he was so moved by the tragedy even though he did not know the teenager personally.
The talented ballerina had also planned to perform a unique piece called “Frustration”, a routine she had created as a part of her GCSE Dance work.
Her performance in Beauty and the Beast with Midland Theatre Ballet, a company within Stephanie Parrott’s School of Dance, would have taken place next May.
Mrs Parrott said: “It’s like living in a nightmare. She had so much ahead of her. It’s just so unfair.”
Tributes have flooded in for the popular teenager who lived in Branston with her parents and town sister Emma. There are dozens of floral tributes outside her school in Dunstall Road, Barton. There were also many messages on social media.
An investigation into the cause of the crash by police is ongoing.